9/11 Twenty Years Later: The Importance of Remembering Even When It Hurts

The notion of “forgive and forget” sounds nice, but the forgetting part is not realistic and, more importantly, it’s not healthy. Remembering is an important part of our spirituality. Presently, as a country, we are remembering the events of September 11, 2001, as we mark the 20th anniversary of this tragedy. We remember, not in order to hold on to anger and hatred, but as a way of honoring those who died and as a […]

Six Keys to a More Evangelizing Catechesis: Experiences of Sharing God’s Mercy

We continue with our series exploring six keys to making our faith formation experiences more evangelizing by focusing on key #5: experiences of sharing God’s mercy. Scripture tells us that faith without works is dead. (James 2:14–17) Likewise, Jesus’ Parable of the Last Judgment (Matthew 25) tells us that we will be judged on our love for others. If we truly want to touch the hearts and minds of those we teach, we need to engage […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Divine Mercy and Treating People Like One of the Family

One of the most compelling reasons for believing in the Resurrection of Jesus—for me, at least—is the fact that the Gospel writers record no acts of vengeance on the part of the Risen Christ. Think about it: if the Gospel writers were trying to protect or restore their own reputations for backing a failed messiah who was publicly executed in the most humiliating way, they would most likely fabricate a story about his return to […]

The Triduum Is to the Liturgical Year as Sunday Is to the Week

One of the early inspirations in my ministerial career was Gabe Huck, a wonderful liturgist and warrior for social justice. At a workshop he gave years ago about the Triduum, he said, “The Triduum is to the liturgical year as Sunday is to the week.” Of course, Sunday, in Christian tradition, is a day “set apart” from the rest of the week, dedicated to worship, rest, and works of mercy. What Gabe Huck is suggesting, […]

Second Week of Advent (Year C): Pack Up Your Things, Come Out of Your Caves, and Light a Bonfire!

Welcome to our second installment of this series on the Scripture readings for Advent, Year C. I mentioned in the first installment that, as I reflected on the Advent Scripture readings, I thought of the image of castaways on a deserted island, feeling hopeless and abandoned. The readings for the First Week of Advent reassured us that “help is on the way!” The Scripture readings for the Second Sunday of Advent tell us that, while […]

Catechists as Echoes (Part IV): Echoes of Mercy

This is the final article in a series about the word catechist, which comes from the Greek word, “to echo.” The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy (2015–16) was an opportunity for the Catholic Church—and for each one of us—to reflect on the merciful love of God the Father (Luke 6:36). Holy doors were opened in every diocese throughout the world as symbols of hope, healing, and love to announce the mercy of God, “the beating […]

Helping Young People Understand Feasts and Holy Days of the Liturgical Year

As we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption (August 15), I thought it would be a good opportunity to take a closer look at what holy days are all about and to help young people understand them. A good way to start is to ask young people where they may have gone on vacation and if anyone did any sightseeing at places such as the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, or an art gallery […]

Does Your Parish Have a Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy?

Recently, as I was searching for a video on the Corporal Works of Mercy, the following caught my eye. It is from St. Michael’s Church in Poway, CA, and features the pastor, Fr. John Dolan, introducing how the parish practices the Corporal Works of Mercy. Within the first few minutes of the video, we also meet Bridget Beas, who is the parish Director of the Corporal Works of Mercy. First, I think it is fantastic that […]

How About a Year of Truth?

Now that the Year of Mercy is over, some catechists have been asking what “year” we will be celebrating in 2017. The truth is, not every year has a theme such as 2016’s Year of Mercy. This was a special Jubilee Year proclaimed by Pope Francis. The notion of proclaiming a theme for each year was popularized by St. Pope John Paul II right before the celebration of the Millennium, when he declared three years […]

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C

There are few people that we know better than the members of our own family and our closest friends. We know one another’s strengths and abilities, and we also know one another’s limitations and weaknesses. Like the Pharisees in the Gospel for the fifth Sunday of Lent, Year C, we may be tempted to focus on the faults and sins that familiarity with one another can sometimes reveal. As family members and friends, however, we also […]

1 2 3 4 15